People call me “the queen of waste,” said Suzan Kubheka Banda, a 44-year-old mother of three from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Banda started recycling plastic waste in 2008, collecting from nearby taverns and shops. By 2010, she opened her own buyback center where informal waste pickers sell their daily finds. She now employs 11 people. She receives about 3000 kilos of plastics for recycling and depending on the month, it can go as high as 6000 kilos.
In 2020, she started using the BanQu App, a blockchain-based traceability app that gives its users real-time data and reporting.
“The app records the material waste pickers have recycled, the weight and the price,” said Banda. She especially appreciates the weekly and monthly reports that the app prepares so she can see how much business the center has done and how they can improve their numbers.
The app demonstrates how a business can leverage digital tools to connect informal waste pickers and buyback centers to major recycling companies such as PETCO and international producers like Pepsico, WilMar and Solvay. The larger firms, meanwhile, have BanQu’s information at their fingertips to ensure transparency and traceability of the materials in their supply chains.
BanQu’s business model will be showcased at the 2023 Africa CEO Forum, where their CEO and Co-founder Ashish Gadnis will join United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Inger Andersen in a discussion on how Africa’s private sector can contribute to the fight against plastic pollution.
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